Knife River

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An unrelenting read that works its way deep inside your head, leaving thoughts and impressions that have lingered with this reader, beyond the page.

Knife River, a small town in NY, based in a valley between two forests, is the setting for this atmospheric tale of sisters tormented by a family tragedy, and the road they must each travel to resolution.

Jess and Liz, separated since the unsolved trauma of their mother’s disappearance fifteen years ago, are reunited unexpectedly when new events in the case unfold. As Jess, an outwardly tough but deeply wounded longtime escape-artist, returns to the small-town she abandoned years before, homophobia, hatred and fear surface not far from her every interaction. Jess is a complex and sneakily-sympathetic character – increasingly relatable in the gradual exposure of her cracks and vulnerabilities, inexpertly hidden by her bravado and reliance on seriously unhealthy defense tactics.

This is a taut and twisty tale, written with a first-person diary-style eye for the minutiae of everyday life, β€” the observations, feelings and mostly, fears, Jess experiences as the claustrophobia of her existence, (no longer avoidable by simply running away), closes in on her, and the secrets lurking around every small-town corner struggle to the surface.

A haunting and mesmerizing story, paced as agonizingly slowly as life in the township it reveals, that, (no spoilers here, you must stick with it), builds to a crescendo that is both sastifyingly tidy and surprisingly dramatic.

A great big thank you to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.


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